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J Med Dent Sci. 2005 Jun;52(2):135-41.

IL-2-regulated persistent human herpesvirus-6B infection facilitates growth of adult T cell leukemia cells.

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Department of Virology, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.


Human herpesvirus-6B (HHV-6B), a causative agent of exanthem subitum, infects human adult T cell leukemia (ATL) cell lines. We established a persistent HHV-6B infection in an ATL cell line, TaY, in the presence of 20 units/ml interleukin-2 (IL-2). The HHV-6B infected culture proliferated with a constant ratio of infected (1%) to the uninfected (99%) cells. When the IL-2 concentration was reduced to 5 units/ml, the number of infected cells in the culture increased transiently by 60% in 11 days, a new balance of 25% infected cells and 75% uninfected cells was established thereafter. PCR analysis confirmed a 125-fold increase in the amount of viral genome in the culture, while the treatment with ganciclovir reduced the proportion of infected cells, indicating that an efficient replication of virus was induced in the culture. Both of these cultures were maintained in the presence of 20 or 5 units/ml IL-2 over one year without loss of infected cells. Interestingly, we found that cultures containing the infected cells grew significantly faster than the parental uninfected cells at the same concentration of IL-2. The infected culture continued to grow for 7 days even in the absence of IL-2. Because the infection induces cell cycle arrest, these results indicate that the HHV-6B-infected ATL cells stimulate the growth of the uninfected cells during persistent infection in culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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